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Bridging The Gap
Job growth slows in US as virus cases surge
  Friday 04 December, 2020
Job growth slows in US as virus cases surge

Hiring in the US slowed sharply last month as the country grappled with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Employers added just 245,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department said, below many economists' expectations.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.7% from 6.9% a month earlier, partially because many people stopped looking for work.

The report comes as several key virus relief programmes, including some unemployment benefits, are set to expire at the end of the month.

Unemployed in the USA: 'I don’t know what to do'

Analysts said the numbers show the risk that the economic recovery is stalling and underscore the need for Congress to approve further stimulus.

In October, job numbers grew by 610,000 in the US.

"The bottom line is that job growth has slowed markedly, and this report demonstrates yet again that it's not possible to separate the economy from the virus," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "We hope these numbers will increase the pressure on Congress to act."

Unless lawmakers approve additional stimulus, roughly 12 million people are due to lose access to unemployment benefits at the end of December, according to a recent report by the Century Foundation, a Left-leaning think tank.

More than four million people have already been cut off, it found.

"For Congress to allow this many workers to be cut off… it's unprecedented," says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the foundation, who worked on the report.

Sarah Groome lost her job as an events manager for a Major League Soccer football team in Pennsylvania in April, after coronavirus disrupted the season.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55190637

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